Monday, May 17, 2010
tier 1 highly skilled visa getters
A group of us went to the Vaal this weekend to celebrate Moogs' birthday.
The pictures the next day evidencing the dancing on tabletops, folks running around starkers, and just general drunken carnage basically strung our night together.
Haven't had a big night like this is a while. And GOD did it hurt yesterday. I really thought I was going to die.
I was dancing on the bar counter wearing aviator sunglasses the whole night, by the looks of things. Like a proper tool.
Was good fun though, especially the lazing about on the boat drinking brewskis.
Then it just got messy.
And so a Vaal weekend in all it's glory.
I got my UK Working Visa!, so hence a double whammy of a celebration this weekend. I booked my one way flight to Londres (which is helluva scary, might I add. No turning back now), and will arrive in my new country in mid-July.
Which means I'll be here for the whole World Cup. Which works out rather nicely.
I had a photo shoot with my visa. I'm a bit weird like that. But it's been a long road of bureaucratic hell to get this innocuous little sticker in my passport.
The time line, in short, goes something like this:
June 2009: Start thinking sporadically about the idea of going to live in England.
September 2009: Start thinking seriously about the idea of going to live in England.
December 2009: Have potential job set up at my company there. Start looking into work permits.
January 2010: My grandmother was British! I can get an ancestral visa!
January 2010 (one day later): My grandmother was British! But born in Malta! I can't get an ancestral visa! Lots of tears.
January 2010: Denial phase. Hire a genealogist to trace family tree in both Malta and Britain. Hire a lawyer in which to appeal my case before the House of Commons.
(I'm not making this up)
February 2010: Spend hours on the Internet reading up about British immigration law, whilst finding out about my family history, scouring the National Archives, collecting birth data. Try and apply for a Maltese passport (which would be better in any case), but get denied at the point where they say my Grandmother wasn't Maltese, she was British.
February 2010: The Brits are saying my gran was Maltese; the Maltese are saying my gran was British. I could've got Ancestry had she been born on a boat in the middle of the ocean, but not on dry Maltese soil - and when she was born in Malta, it was Crown Colony of Britain still. How does that make sense?
Coincidentally, she almost was born on a boat in the middle of the ocean. As her father was an officer on a Royal Navy ship. He was serving Britain as his country and my Gran happened to come out of her mother's vaginal passage when docked in Malta. How's that for some shit luck.
February 2010: Get irate as there is no other working visa I can apply for. The Tier 1 Highly Skilled Working Visa only accepted those with a Master's Degree. No exceptions. Getting married to a British citizen wouldn't help me, as I wouldn't be able to work for an entire year. There is no longer a 2 year South African working visa.
February 2010: Someone sends me a link to a review, where the Migration Advisory Committee - who reviews the points requirements for working visas on an annual basis - advised the UK government to change the points for the Highly Skilled Visa.
March 2010: After hours of internet research, find out that the UK government usually implements the advice on points for visas, in line with the economic landscape and other factors.
March 2010: Check daily to see whether the visa points system has been changed and implemented. The new change in effect, would allow me to apply for this visa. The points would be changed back to a Bachelor's Degree with higher salary earnings than before. The points for age would also change - if you're under 30 you get a lot more points. In essence, they were realising that experience is should be the dominant factor for selecting 'skilled workers'.
End-March 2010: Announce the points changes. I am in London at that moment, and celebrate wildly with a lot of pints down the pub.
April 2010: Get the new role I applied for within my existing company. Am skiing at Meribel at the time. And celebrate wildly over toffee vodka at apres-ski.
May 2010: Get my visa.